Archive for the ‘Free’ Category

Free admission days announced for Nat’l Parks and lands

April 22, 2010

Every National Park, National Wildlife Refuge, and numerous areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management are offering free admission June 5-6, Aug. 14-15, Sept. 25 (Public Lands Day), and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day).  These dates are in addition to the previously announced free admission at all 392 national parks April 17-25 as part of the celebration of National Park Week. Consider planning you next visit to Acadia National Park around these fee-free days.

Maine State Museum goes to the dogs

April 21, 2010

A Chinook, image courtesy of Perry Greene Kennel

Dog lovers, especially Chinook fans, take note: Rick Skoglund, owner of Waldoboro’s Perry Greene Kennels, and Jessica Mauer, of Lewiston’s Great Mountain Chinooks, will be visiting the Maine State Museum, in Augusta, with their Chinooks, on April 24, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Museum admission is free for the day.

The program is in conjunction with the exhibit, “An American Breed in Maine,” which shows the museum’s recently-acquired Perry Greene Kennel collection.  The collection, donated by Skoglund and  his wife, Martha Kalina, documents the history and popularity of the Chinook breed in American culture.

Arthur Walden of New Hampshire began the breed as sled dogs in 1917.  By 1947, Perry Greene had acquired the breed from Walden and moved to Waldoboro, where he operated the only kennel in the world that bred and sold Chinooks. The breed is most famous for its travels with Admiral Richard Byrd on his expedition to the South Pole in the 1920s. Read the breed’s history here.

While here, don’t miss the rest of the museum. It really is one of Maine’s unsung assets.

Plan ahead: Maine Free Family Fishing Festival

April 16, 2010

Fishing for a good family getaway? Angling for a deal? The Maine Free Family Fishing Festival, June 5, in Bethel is just the ticket. The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited is hosting this free event at Angevine Park on the North Road, from 9 a.m .to 2 p.m, rain or shine. The weekend of June 5 and 6 is a free fishing weekend in Maine: Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day

Maine Free Family Fishing Festival itinerary includes:

free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction taught by local Maine guides and members of the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents.

free use of rods and reels, courtesy of Maine’s Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program.

• opportunity to practice newly learned casting skills in a one-acre pond, stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and a take home your catch.

In addition, there are a slew of kid- and family-friendly activities:

each young angler will receive a mini-tackle box complete with bobber, sinkers, and hook courtesy of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance.

kids can learn how to tie flies with materials provided by local outfitters and fly shops. Children will be able to take home their hand-tied flies.

• families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses as well as L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post.

And, of course, food: The Bethel Fire Dept. will host a barbecue of hotdogs and hamburgers, chips, and drinks and families are welcome to bring a pack lunch.

Need lodging: For those families wishing to stay overnight and fish or canoe the Androscoggin River on Sunday, special family packages are available for the weekend at local lodging establishments.

Note: The Family Fishing Festival is one many nationwide events that provide families with an opportunity to have fun on the water. The events are promoted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Two for the weekend: fish and shrimp

March 19, 2010

If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend in Maine, consider these two events: L.L. Bean’s Spring Fishing Weekend, today through Sunday March 21, and Celebrate the Shrimp, all day Saturday, March 20, in Rockland.

• Spring Fishing Weekend

If you’re angling to catch some free fishing know-how, cast your line into this event at Bean’s Freeport flagship store. It kicks off with a free fly-tying clinic tonight, and continues Saturday and Sunday with demonstrations, lessons, seminars, contests, and book signings with the “legends of fishing.” Most events are free.

• Celebrate the Shrimp

Here’s a tasty Rockland Maine Street-sponsored event. It runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and includes free admission to the Maine Lighthouse Museum to 1 p.m.; a shrimp walk; shrimp tales at the Rockland Library; a shrimp cook-off with chefs and foodies competing in separate categories ; shrimp picking and handling demonstration; free historic trolley tours of the city from 2-4 p.m., and a special Shrimp Art Walk between local galleries from 5-7 p.m. Of course, local restaurants will be featuring shrimp specials.

Free ice cream tomorrow (really!)

March 18, 2010

Family-owned Gifford’s Ice Cream kicks off its 30th-anniversary season, tomorrow, Friday, March 19, by offering free, small ice cream cones from 6-8 p.m. at its five Maine stands: Skowhegan, Farmington, Bangor, Waterville, and Auburn.

Of course, if that’s not enough, you can splurge on other tasty treats including old-fashioned ice cream sodas, brownie-n-cream sundaes, ice cream cakes, banana splits, sundaes, parfaits, frappes and freezes. And don’t forget your dog: Gifford’s has a special dog bone sundae.

Want to know why Gifford’s tastes so great? The company makes its ice cream from fresh, pasteurized, growth-hormone-free cream and milk that comes exclusively from independent family farms in Maine and it uses premium ingredients, such as real Maine maple syrup.

Since I’m a chocoholic, I’m opting for chocolate. Gifford’s twice has been recognized as “World’s Best Chocolate” at the World Dairy Expo.  And watch for this: Late last year, Gifford’s caught the attention of producers at Food Network’s “Unwrapped,” and the local favorite will be featured in an April 2010 episode titled “21st Century Chocolate.

Biathlon in The County

February 7, 2010

Nice story in today’s New York Times about the Maine Winter Sports Center and the upcoming Olympic Games in Vancouver. If you’re a skier, snowshoer, or snowmobiler, you should put Aroostook on your Bucket List. Maine’s northernermost county has prime snowmobiling trails, excellent groomed and tacked cross-country trails, and bountiful back-country wilderness for skiing and snowshoeing. Without crowds. Without fees. Yes, you read that right, free.

Special Maine premiere: Sustainability

January 5, 2010

The Green Living Project, which has documented more than 30 sustainability-related projects in 10 countries in Africa and South America has turned its lens on Maine. The multi-media Sustainability Across Maine will premiere on Thursday (Jan. 7),  7-9 p.m., at Frontier, in Fort Andross (the renovated riverfront mill in Brunswick). Admission is free.

Featured on the program are:

• Maine Huts & Trails, the off-the-grid trail system

• Island Institute’s wind-energy programs

• Chewonki’s sustainability programs

• Inn by the Sea’s green initiatives

• Primo Restaurant’s backyard organic farm

• Maine Compost School

• Local Sprouts Cooperative

• Guyot Designs

Food and freebies: The first 50 attendees will receive a $25 L.L.Bean Gift Card, Keen socks, and other goodies. In addition, there will be live music; beer, wine, and food provided by Peak Organic Brewing Co., and Frontier; door prizes and give-away such as travel packages from Maine Huts & Trails, Inn by the Sea, Primo, and others; and a gear raffle from event sponsor National Geographic Adventure, Gregory, Keen, Clif Bar, and others, with proceeds benefiting some of the projects.

Frontier: If you haven’t been to Frontier, it’s a combo cafe, gallery, live music/event spot, and cinema inspired by founder Michael Gilroy’s world travels. Definitely a cool place worth checking out, if not for this event than another time. I’m a huge fan of the market plates, a tasting platter of a specific cuisine–perhaps the Middle East or France or Italy. Delish!

Champagne and chocolate, free

November 20, 2009

Portland’s Dean’sSweets is celebrating its one-year anniversary by giving visitors to its Middle Street store between now and Dec. 12  a free champagne truffle. No purchase is necessary (but trust me, you’ll end up buying at least one or two to take home; the salt caramels are divine). And wouldn’t truffles be the perfect ending to a Thanksgiving meal?

Can’t get to Dean’s? Then place a phone or web order, and Dean’s will tuck in a free two-piece box of those champagne truffles.

Plan ahead for the MIBA sale

November 13, 2009

Basketmakers from Maine’s Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes will be selling their handmade ash splint and sweetgrass baskets at the annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Sale & Demonstration. The event takes place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Collins Center for the Arts, on the University of Maine campus in Orono.

If you’ve never been to this free event, go. Not only can you purchase baskets directly from the makers, but you also can see them demonstrate their craft. In addition, programs include a moose-calling demonstration, children’s storytime, traditional Passamaquoddy medicine, and drumming, singing and dancing by the Burnurwubskek Singers. Traditional foods will be available, as well.

For the best selection of baskets, go early. Collectors tend to scoop up the best finds (and often the priciest) in the first few minutes of the show. Even if you don’t have any plans to purchase a basket, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Maine’s native cultures.


I scream, you scream

October 13, 2009

This weekend, Oct. 17-18, everyone should scream for free ice cream at Gifford‘s. Yup, you read that right. Gifford’s is ending the season with a two-for-one special at its stands in Auburn, Farmington, Bangor, Waterville, and Skowhegan. While supplies last, buy one, get one free. Stands open at noon.